Sunday, November 27, 2016

How Do You Keep Those Craft In The Air - VSF

This post came about because of a comment on another of my posts. Thank you Michael Peterson.

This does comes up often, how do these flying battleship, well fly. Victorian Science Fiction (VSF) has been a hobby of mine after I bought my first computer and than software from Babagges. Just the idea of an analytical machine that was mechanical and analogue. Just to good for words.

So with a love of technology, Jules Verne and gaming I was ready to be introduced to such a period. And I got the introduction when I purchased Space 1889 in 1989. While I did enjoy the roll playing it was the nautical rules that interested me. I would than go on to purchase, Gaslight, AeroNef and recently Imperial Skies.

What they all have in common is that they all use a non-logical way of propulsion. Some are mechanical like Edison's Ether Screw or Professor Hartley Rennick R-Gravitons and than there is Loewe's Graviton engine. Others would use hydrogen or liftwood from Mars. What is consistent is that the Victorian engineers created Rube Goldberg-esque machines to get them in the air. The theory of traveling through the ether is also interesting as the gaming mechanic is based on historical precedent.

As for the personal attraction I like the idea of these airships or flying fortresses going into battle on Earth or Mars. Airships only on Venues, liftwood does not work. We could I guess put down a blue mate and fight out the battles as if we were on the sea, but we do love our airships.

Different Technology Timelines.

Space 1889
1868 Edison Ether Screw
1870 Liftwood from Mars
1874 Zeppelin efficient Hydrogen filled airships

1884 Frank Stockburn invents the Negative Gravity Screw
1886 Professor Hartley Rennick discovers R-Gravitons
1889 Synthetic R-Gravitons

Imperial Skies
1889 Kurt Loewe perfects the Graviton engine


  1. And here I was thinking it was pure force of wonder. ;)

  2. I likes the TMP comment "Remember the old H.G.Wells' Cavorite."